Update: Dark_Nexis emailed to say that he was able to correct the problem by reinstalling and reloading the game—and waiting. "I don't know what happened but all the discoveries re-appeared on my starting planet," he wrote in an update to his original post. "It seems like a server bugs, like it takes a while for your old discoveries to re-download... It seems a little bugged where you get further and further away from your starting point [and] you can't see your old discoveries even when you find your way back. It's like the server lags behind big time and takes a while to find the old information. "
In the email, he said the problem may have been exacerbated by the fact that he was really far from home when he decided to turn around.
"It seems like the server just lags behind and maybe hides older discoveries to help with loading in the star systems/discoveries menu," he wrote. "I was only about 40k away from the center when I decided to turn around and go back. I jumped 92 times and went through a lot of black holes so it took me a long time to get back so the server probably just had to find that old data and reload it in my game."
Other players haven't reported similar resolutions yet, but hopefully Dark_Nexis is right and this was a simple server glitch, although that does lead to the obvious question of what happens when those servers go away for good. I'm still waiting to hear from Hello Games, and I'll update again when I do.
No Man's Sky is all about exploration and discovery. So you can imagine how frustrating it would be to learn that all the effort you put into cataloging the flora and fauna you've run across on your intergalactic journey was for naught. Yet that seems to be what's happening, according to this Reddit thread, where multiple users are claiming that the names they'd given to plants and animals have been wiped, and their discoveries reset.
One redditor, by the name of Dark_Nexis, said that when he returned to his home planet after approaching the center of the galaxy, he found that the system and planet names were still in place, but everything else was wiped. “The names I gave them are gone and reset like I never discovered them, they're still there just not discovered when I did discover them before I left my starting system,” he wrote. “Only thing still named is the planet and system names.”
Another user, Ultrasilvanus, claimed a similar experience. “Yesterday I browsed my list of discoveries, and went all the way to my starting planet. The system and all the planets I've ever been to are clearly marked as being discovered by me, the planets list 100% completion for animal scans but I can't see any animal or plant in the gallery and all of them appear as ???????.” he wrote. He found a world that was “starting to be 'corrupted',” made a note of the checkpoints and animals he'd discovered, then went about his usual spacefaring business.
“The next day, browsed the list again. The planet was wiped clean and so were a couple more,” he wrote. “Just to be clear enough, discoveries are being erased in chronological order. First system, second system and so on. It's not random. It's a pattern, starting from your very first discoveries.”
A third redditor, Homesickalienz, said essentially the same thing, writing, “Found about 15 different save points and named them all. Only 6 show up in the list. When I find a new one the last one gets booted.”
Several users have said that the disappearing discoveries could be the result of trouble uploading data to the remote servers, which seems entirely plausible. But keeping track of an endless stream of discovered plant and wildlife across literally multiple quintillions of digital worlds would be a huge task, and so naturally there are also suggestions that Hello Games may have taken a shortcut or two, and invalidated the efforts of its players in the process.
I've reached out to Hello Games to ask whether these problems are the reuslt of server glitches, an intentional design choice, or something else entirely, and will update if and when I receive a reply. In the meantime, if you've run into anything like this yourself, let us know about it in the comments.